Postponing the commencement of the work of the Economic Court will improve the quality of the selection procedure and the performance of the new court
26 November, 2020
At an extraordinary sitting on November 24, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the draft amendments to the Law “On Judicial Power” drawn up by the Ministry of Justice, which envisage postponing the commencement of operation of the Economic Court until March 31 next year.
The Ministry of Justice explained that the Economic Court will start operating later due to an emergency situation, and the Minister acknowledged that the quality of the selection procedure of judges is an essential precondition for achieving the goals for which the Economic Court is being established.
The solution found is the result of successful cooperation. The Commission for the Selection of Judicial Candidates has written a letter to the Ministry informing about the issues, which show that it will not be possible to meet the initially set deadline for the Economic Court for commencing operation.
Dzintra Balta, Chair of the Commission for the Selection of Judicial Candidates, informed that the second round of selection of judges of the new court had ended, in which the Commission evaluated the applications, ascertaining the applicants' motivation and ability to substantiate it.
The next round envisages a test of professional skills. The organizational aspects of the test have been significantly affected by the state of emergency declared in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. To ensure the next rounds of selection, which should take place in person, the Commission seeks to find innovative solutions that do not delay the selection process and have the lowest risk of infection.
All-in-all, three more rounds of selection (test; case solving, which is prepared in writing and presented orally; competency-based interview) have to be ensured, which shows that it will not be objectively possible to conclude the selection process of judges of the Economic Court in December this year.
In addition, the Selection Commission drew attention to a very important precondition for a quality start of the work of the Economic Court. Namely, the entire staff of the new court, both judges and employees, will have no previous experience in court work. “During the preparation phase, new judges, as well as employees, must be provided with practical knowledge and training in the performance of specific duties, including the specific duties of a judge, namely, conducting proceedings, formulating arguments, as well as ensuring progress of a case in court, activity of Court Information System, etc. Laws and regulations should make it clear that work will only start once the preparatory process has taken place,” stated the Selection Commission.
The final decision on amendments to the Law “On Judicial Power” must be made by the Parliament.
This is the first occasion of the selection of candidates for the position of a judge in accordance with the new procedure approved by the Judicial Council, introducing a conceptually new selection procedure, i.e., during five selection rounds, the professional, personal and social competencies required for the position of a judge are assessed. "The Commission for the Selection of Judicial Candidates works actively and with the utmost diligence. Given that this is the first selection after the entry into force of the new selection procedure, it is especially important for the Commission to establish a standard for the new selection procedure of judges, the height of the Selection Commission’s work "bar" will be a standard for the further selection process of judges," says Senator Dzintra Balta, the Chair of the Commission.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211